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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface on Linux Instances

Amazon EC2 provides enhanced networking capabilities to C3, C4, D2, I2, M4 (excluding m4.16xlarge), and R3 instances through the Intel 82599 VF interface, which uses the Intel ixgbevf driver.

Requirements

To prepare for enhanced networking using the Intel 82599 VF interface, set up your instance as follows:

  • Launch the instance from an HVM AMI using Linux kernel version of 2.6.32 or later. The latest Amazon Linux HVM AMIs have the modules required for enhanced networking installed and have the required attributes set. Therefore, if you launch an Amazon EBS–backed, enhanced networking–supported instance using a current Amazon Linux HVM AMI, enhanced networking is already enabled for your instance.

    Warning

    Enhanced networking is supported only for HVM instances. Enabling enhanced networking with a PV instance can make it unreachable. Setting this attribute without the proper module or module version can also make your instance unreachable.

  • Launch the instance in a VPC. (You can't enable enhanced networking if the instance is in EC2-Classic.)

  • Install and configure the AWS CLI or the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell on any computer you choose, preferably your local desktop or laptop. For more information, see Accessing Amazon EC2. Enhanced networking cannot be managed from the Amazon EC2 console.

  • If you have important data on the instance that you want to preserve, you should back that data up now by creating an AMI from your instance. Updating kernels and kernel modules, as well as enabling the sriovNetSupport attribute, might render incompatible instances or operating systems unreachable; if you have a recent backup, your data will still be retained if this happens.

Testing Whether Enhanced Networking is Enabled

Enhanced networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface is enabled if the ixgbevf module is installed on your instance and the sriovNetSupport attribute is set.

Instance Attribute (sriovNetSupport)

To check whether an instance has the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute set, use one of the following commands:

  • describe-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 describe-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --attribute sriovNetSupport
  • Get-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Get-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance-id -Attribute sriovNetSupport

If the attribute isn't set, SriovNetSupport is empty; otherwise, it is set as follows:

"SriovNetSupport": { "Value": "simple" },

Image Attribute (sriovNetSupport)

To check whether an AMI already has the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute set, use one of the following commands:

  • describe-image-attribute (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 describe-image-attribute --image-id ami_id --attribute sriovNetSupport

    Note that this command only works for images that you own. You receive an AuthFailure error for images that do not belong to your account.

  • Get-EC2ImageAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Get-EC2ImageAttribute -ImageId ami-id -Attribute sriovNetSupport

If the attribute isn't set, SriovNetSupport is empty; otherwise, it is set as follows:

"SriovNetSupport": { "Value": "simple" },

Network Interface Driver

Use the following command to verify that the module is being used on a particular interface, substituting the interface name that you wish to check. If you are using a single interface (default), it will be eth0.

[ec2-user ~]$ ethtool -i eth0 driver: vif version: firmware-version: bus-info: vif-0 supports-statistics: yes supports-test: no supports-eeprom-access: no supports-register-dump: no supports-priv-flags: no

In the above case, the ixgbevf module is not loaded, because the listed driver is vif.

[ec2-user ~]$ ethtool -i eth0 driver: ixgbevf version: 4.0.3 firmware-version: N/A bus-info: 0000:00:03.0 supports-statistics: yes supports-test: yes supports-eeprom-access: no supports-register-dump: yes supports-priv-flags: no

In this case, the ixgbevf module is loaded. This instance has enhanced networking properly configured.

Enabling Enhanced Networking on Amazon Linux

The latest Amazon Linux HVM AMIs have the ixgbevf module required for enhanced networking installed and have the required sriovNetSupport attribute set. Therefore, if you launch a instance type using a current Amazon Linux HVM AMI, enhanced networking is already enabled for your instance. For more information, see Testing Whether Enhanced Networking is Enabled.

If you launched your instance using an older Amazon Linux AMI and it does not have enhanced networking enabled already, use the following procedure to enable enhanced networking.

Warning

There is no way to disable the enhanced networking attribute after you've enabled it.

To enable enhanced networking

  1. Connect to your instance.

  2. From the instance, run the following command to update your instance with the newest kernel and kernel modules, including ixgbevf:

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum update
  3. From your local computer, reboot your instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: reboot-instances (AWS CLI), Restart-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell).

  4. Connect to your instance again and verify that the ixgbevf module is installed and at the minimum recommended version using the modinfo ixgbevf command from Testing Whether Enhanced Networking is Enabled.

  5. [EBS-backed instance] From your local computer, stop the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: stop-instances (AWS CLI), Stop-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should stop the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

    [Instance store-backed instance] You can't stop the instance to modify the attribute. Instead, proceed to this procedure: To enable enhanced networking (instance store-backed instances).

  6. From your local computer, enable the enhanced networking attribute using one of the following commands:

    • modify-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

      aws ec2 modify-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --sriov-net-support simple
    • Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

      Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance_id -SriovNetSupport "simple"
  7. (Optional) Create an AMI from the instance, as described in Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Linux AMI . The AMI inherits the enhanced networking attribute from the instance. Therefore, you can use this AMI to launch another instance with enhanced networking enabled by default.

  8. From your local computer, start the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: start-instances (AWS CLI), Start-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should start the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

  9. Connect to your instance and verify that the ixgbevf module is installed and loaded on your network interface using the ethtool -i ethn command from Testing Whether Enhanced Networking is Enabled.

To enable enhanced networking (instance store-backed instances)

Follow the previous procedure until the step where you stop the instance. Create a new AMI as described in Creating an Instance Store-Backed Linux AMI, making sure to enable the enhanced networking attribute when you register the AMI.

  • register-image (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 register-image --sriov-net-support simple ...
  • Register-EC2Image (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Register-EC2Image -SriovNetSupport "simple" ...

Enabling Enhanced Networking on Ubuntu

Before you begin, check if enhanced networking is already enabled on your instance.

The Quick Start Ubuntu HVM AMIs include the necessary drivers for enhanced networking. If you have version 2.16.4 or later of ixgbevf, you do not need to compile a different version of the ixgbevf module unless you want additional functionality provided in a newer version. Versions of ixgbevf earlier than 2.16.4, including version 2.14.2, do not build properly on certain versions of Ubuntu.

If you've launched an instance from a different Ubuntu AMI, contact the AMI provider to confirm if you need a newer version of the enhanced networking drivers.

The following procedure provides the general steps for compiling the ixgbevf module on an Ubuntu instance.

To enable enhanced networking on Ubuntu

  1. Connect to your instance.

  2. Update the package cache and packages.

    ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

    Important

    If during the update process, you are prompted to install grub, use /dev/xvda to install grub onto, and then choose to keep the current version of /boot/grub/menu.lst.

  3. Download the source of the ixgbevf module appropriate for the kernel version of your instance from Sourceforge at https://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000/files/ixgbevf%20stable/; for example:

    ubuntu:~$ wget "https://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000/files/ixgbevf stable/4.3.3/ixgbevf-4.3.3.tar.gz"

    Note

    Use the uname -r command to get the kernel version for your instance.

  4. Decompress and unarchive the ixgbevf package.

    ubuntu:~$ tar -xzf ixgbevf-4.3.3.tar.gz
  5. Add, build, and install the ixgbevf module on your instance.

  6. Rebuild initramfs so the correct module is loaded at boot time.

    ubuntu:~$ sudo update-initramfs -c -k all
  7. Verify that the ixgbevf module is installed and at the minimum recommended version using the modinfo ixgbevf command.

    ubuntu:~$ modinfo ixgbevf
  8. [EBS-backed instance] From your local computer, stop the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: stop-instances (AWS CLI), Stop-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should stop the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

    [Instance store-backed instance] You can't stop the instance to modify the attribute. Instead, proceed to this procedure: To enable enhanced networking on Ubuntu (instance store-backed instances).

  9. From your local computer, enable the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute using one of the following commands. Note that there is no way to disable this attribute after you've enabled it.

    • modify-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

      aws ec2 modify-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --sriov-net-support simple
    • Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

      Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance_id -SriovNetSupport "simple"
  10. (Optional) Create an AMI from the instance, as described in Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Linux AMI. The AMI inherits the enhanced networking sriovNetSupport attribute from the instance. Therefore, you can use this AMI to launch another instance with enhanced networking enabled by default.

  11. From your local computer, start the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: start-instances (AWS CLI), Start-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should start the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

  12. (Optional) Connect to your instance and verify that the module is installed.

To enable enhanced networking on Ubuntu (instance store-backed instances)

Follow the previous procedure until the step where you stop the instance. Create a new AMI as described in Creating an Instance Store-Backed Linux AMI, making sure to enable the enhanced networking attribute when you register the AMI.

  • register-image (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 register-image --sriov-net-support simple ...
  • Register-EC2Image (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Register-EC2Image -SriovNetSupport "simple" ...

Enabling Enhanced Networking on Other Linux Distributions

Before you begin, check if enhanced networking is already enabled on your instance. The latest Quick Start HVM AMIs include the necessary drivers for enhanced networking, therefore you do not need to perform additional steps.

The following procedure provides the general steps if you need to enable enhanced networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface on a Linux distribution other than Amazon Linux or Ubuntu. For more information, such as detailed syntax for commands, file locations, or package and tool support, see the specific documentation for your Linux distribution.

To enable enhanced networking on Linux

  1. Connect to your instance.

  2. Download the source for the ixgbevf module on your instance from Sourceforge at https://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000/files/ixgbevf%20stable/.

    Versions of ixgbevf earlier than 2.16.4, including version 2.14.2, do not build properly on some Linux distributions, including certain versions of Ubuntu.

  3. Compile and install the ixgbevf module on your instance.

    Warning

    If you compile the ixgbevf module for your current kernel and then upgrade your kernel without rebuilding the driver for the new kernel, your system might revert to the distribution-specific ixgbevf module at the next reboot, which could make your system unreachable if the distribution-specific version is incompatible with enhanced networking.

  4. Run the sudo depmod command to update module dependencies.

  5. Update initramfs on your instance to ensure that the new module loads at boot time.

  6. Determine if your system uses predictable network interface names by default. Systems that use systemd or udev versions 197 or greater can rename Ethernet devices and they do not guarantee that a single network interface will be named eth0. This behavior can cause problems connecting to your instance. For more information and to see other configuration options, see Predictable Network Interface Names on the freedesktop.org website.

    1. You can check the systemd or udev versions on RPM-based systems with the following command:

      [ec2-user ~]$ rpm -qa | grep -e '^systemd-[0-9]\+\|^udev-[0-9]\+' systemd-208-11.el7_0.2.x86_64

      In the above Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 example, the systemd version is 208, so predictable network interface names must be disabled.

    2. Disable predictable network interface names by adding the net.ifnames=0 option to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line in /etc/default/grub.

      [ec2-user ~]$ sudo sed -i '/^GRUB\_CMDLINE\_LINUX/s/\"$/\ net\.ifnames\=0\"/' /etc/default/grub
    3. Rebuild the grub configuration file.

      [ec2-user ~]$ sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
  7. [EBS-backed instance] From your local computer, stop the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: stop-instances (AWS CLI), Stop-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should stop the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

    [Instance store-backed instance] You can't stop the instance to modify the attribute. Instead, proceed to this procedure: To enable enhanced networking (instance store–backed instances).

  8. From your local computer, enable the enhanced networking attribute using one of the following commands:

    • modify-instance-attribute (AWS CLI)

      aws ec2 modify-instance-attribute --instance-id instance_id --sriov-net-support simple
    • Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

      Edit-EC2InstanceAttribute -InstanceId instance_id -SriovNetSupport "simple"
  9. (Optional) Create an AMI from the instance, as described in Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Linux AMI . The AMI inherits the enhanced networking attribute from the instance. Therefore, you can use this AMI to launch another instance with enhanced networking enabled by default.

    Important

    If your instance operating system contains an /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules file, you must delete it before creating the AMI. This file contains the MAC address for the Ethernet adapter of the original instance. If another instance boots with this file, the operating system will be unable to find the device and eth0 might fail, causing boot issues. This file is regenerated at the next boot cycle, and any instances launched from the AMI create their own version of the file.

  10. From your local computer, start the instance using the Amazon EC2 console or one of the following commands: start-instances (AWS CLI), Start-EC2Instance (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell). If your instance is managed by AWS OpsWorks, you should start the instance in the AWS OpsWorks console so that the instance state remains in sync.

  11. (Optional) Connect to your instance and verify that the module is installed.

To enable enhanced networking (instance store–backed instances)

Follow the previous procedure until the step where you stop the instance. Create a new AMI as described in Creating an Instance Store-Backed Linux AMI, making sure to enable the enhanced networking attribute when you register the AMI.

  • register-image (AWS CLI)

    aws ec2 register-image --sriov-net-support simple ...
  • Register-EC2Image (AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell)

    Register-EC2Image -SriovNetSupport "simple" ...

Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues

If you lose connectivity while enabling enhanced networking, the ixgbevf module might be incompatible with the kernel. Try installing the version of the ixgbevf module included with the distribution of Linux for your instance.

If you enable enhanced networking for a PV instance or AMI, this can make your instance unreachable.